Back in the day, OnePlus phones used to stand out, be it for their value proposition, software experience or unique designs. Fast-forward to 2022, and the company’s portfolio is seemingly singing the same tune as the competition. Case in point, the OnePlus 10R, which borrows a page – scratch that – the whole book from the Realme GT Neo 3 (review). Be that as it may, the OnePlus 10R is still a stellar phone that deserves a second look. Here’s why.
The OnePlus 10R draws a lot of parallels to the Realme GT Neo 3 and correspondingly, struggles to stand out. That said, the handset is a capable performer that, with some tweaks, can ruffle a few feathers in the flagship-killer space.
As prefaced previously, the OnePlus 10R is – for the lack of a better word – a facsimile of the Realme GT Neo 3. For instance, tech enthusiasts will be quick to point out that the OnePlus 10R looks similar to the Realme GT Neo 3. In all fairness, their claim isn’t entirely incorrect and from the positioning of the camera module to the smartphone’s overall aesthetic, the OnePlus 10R does impart a sense of deja vu. That said, the company has touched upon the 10R’s aesthetic to help it stand out as much as possible.
For one, the handset’s design appears less garish than that of the GT Neo 3. Furthermore, the smartphone features a larger camera module that ensures the device doesn’t wobble too much when kept on a flat surface. And, unlike Realme’s offering, the OnePlus 10R doesn’t ship with a curvy back – instead, the handset adopts a flat profile which is reminiscent of Apple’s latest iPhones.
Correspondingly, the OnePlus 10R looks “different enough” to pass off as a one-of-a-kind handset. Unfortunately, the smartphone’s build quality leaves something to be desired. To wit, while I’m all for the 10R’s matte finish which doesn’t just feel velvety, but also keeps smudges at bay, the device’s plastic chassis feels economical, to say the least. On the bright side, the handset is lighter than most devices in its segment and tips the scales at just 186 grams.
What’s more, the smartphone features speedy and reliable biometrics, and buyers eyeing the set (pun intended) can use the phone’s facial recognition tech or in-display fingerprint sensor to unlock it in a jiffy. The handset’s haptic feedback was to my liking as well and I enjoyed my time typing long messages and taking notes for the review on the phone.
Moving on, much like the GT Neo 3, the OnePlus 10R ships with a 10-bit, 6.7-inch, FHD+, Fluid AMOLED display too. The panel refreshes at 120Hz and offers a touch response rate of up to 720Hz as well, which is great. Furthermore, the panel gets adequately bright at 950 nits and comes layered with Corning’s Gorilla Glass v5 too. Needless to say, the OnePlus 10R’s screen is a joy to look at and coupled with the phone’s booming stereo speaker setup, the handset paves the way for an immersive media consumption experience. Having said that, the Netflix app is incompatible with the phone. I noticed the issue crop up when I was reviewing the GT Neo 3 as well.
However, unlike Realme’s contender, the Netflix app comes pre-installed on the OnePlus 10R, which is quite strange – after all, why would the brand bundle an incompatible app with the phone? Now, I am sure the company will address the issue and I’ll update this article as and when I get more information too. For now, let’s talk about the smartphone’s performance chops.
Spec-wise, the OnePlus 10R draws even more parallels to the GT Neo 3. I say this because the phone is powered by the MediaTek Dimesnity 8100 SoC too. The chipset works alongside UFS 3.1 storage and LPDDR5 memory and the smartphone supports a handful of 5G bands, including but not limited to n1, n3, n40, etc. Unsurprisingly, the OnePlus 10R is incredibly snappy, and prospective buyers will find little to complain about the phone in the performance department. To give you a better picture, the device yields higher benchmark figures than the SD888-backed OnePlus 9RT (review) and despite that, doesn’t throttle as much either. For instance, the OnePlus 10R secured 959 and 3,767 points in GeekBench’s single-core and multi-core tests.
The 9RT, on the other hand, capped out at 822 and 3,265 points respectively. Making matters even more interesting, the 10R achieved a 98.7 percent stability in 3D Mark’s Extreme Stress test. The 9RT, on the other hand, peaked at 63.2 percent stability. The same goes for the CPU throttling test as well wherein, the 10R throttled to just 83 percent of its peak performance. On the flip side, the OnePlus 9RT throttled to 82 percent of its maximum throughput.
It goes without saying that the Dimensity 8100 SoC is at par with Qualcomm’s SD888 chipset. In fact, both, the Realme GT Neo 3 as well as the OnePlus 10R are a testament to the same. Be that as it may, the platform is plagued by poor game optimisation and correspondingly, hardcore gamers will still be better off with a phone powered by a Qualcomm processor. To wit, much like the GT Neo 3, the OnePlus 10R also struggles to run popular Android games like BGMI and CoD Mobile at competent graphics and FPS settings. That’s not to say that the chipset is marred by a sub-par GPU – in fact, Genshin Impact ran admirably on both, the GT Neo 3, as well as the 10R, and that’s with the settings set to high and the frame rate locked at 60fps.
Admittedly, the SD888-backed 9RT net better average FPS during the game’s test run, however, the smartphone got much warmer to the touch too. On the flip side, the OnePlus 10R ran cooler, albeit did net slightly lesser frames. I’ll have an in-depth performance comparison between the OnePlus 9RT, the OnePlus 10R and the OnePlus 10 Pro (review) up shortly, so stay tuned for that. Suffice it to say, while I am elated with the Dimensity 8100’s computing prowess, the chipset is in dire need of some tweaks that’ll help its performance adequately across different Android games.
Software-wise, the 10R ships with a custom skin of OxygenOS on top of Android. Now, while the custom skin draws a lot of parallels to OPPO’s Color OS, the interface doesn’t ship with any bloatware, which is great. Furthermore, the utility allows buyers to thoroughly customise their Android handset too and the interface supports third-party icon packs, numerous AoD clock faces, distinctive animation effects, and the works. You’ll also get a slurry of useful features baked into OxygenOS, including a dedicated dark mode, a private vault of sorts that can be used to store personal files and data as well as an array of screen-on and off gestures.
Both, the OnePlus 10R as well as the Realme GT Neo 3 are available in two different SKUs, and buyers eyeing the handsets can cop the phones with either an 80W or a 150W charger. Do note that the 80W variant of the 10R ships with a 5,000mAh cell, whereas the 150W model offers a 4,500mAh battery pack. Now, I was sent the 150W variant of the phone for review which, per the company’s claims, offers a day’s worth of battery backup in just 10 minutes. And, sure enough, I was able to refuel the device’s 4,500mAh battery completely from three percent in just 17 minutes. Rest assured, the OnePlus 10R is among the fastest charging Android handsets available in the market and you’ll rarely find yourself tethered to a charging outlet for extended periods.
Camera-wise, the OnePlus 10R features a 50MP Sony IMX766 sensor that works alongside an 8MP ultrawide angle lens and a 2MP macro sensor. For selfies, the device gets a 16MP snapper up front. So, how do the phone’s cameras fare? Well, let’s start with the daylight shots from the phone, that offer bountiful details. That said, the main camera’s colour science wasn’t to my liking and the device usually puts forth a dramatic image with skewed hues. In fact, the bark of the trees, as well as the buildings in the sample shots attached below offer a reddish tinge too. On the bright side, the sensor is more than adept at exposing the images properly and I didn’t find any instances of highlight clipping in the shots I took with the phone.
The ultrawide angle sensor can net passable landscapes, however, the corner sharpness in the photos could’ve been better. Furthermore, much like the phone’s main sensor, the UW snapper also sways in the favour of contrast-y tones. Correspondingly, you’ll notice that the darkened areas appear too dark and gloomy in the snaps. Thankfully, the phone clicks good-looking closeups and the sensor doesn’t struggle whilst reciprocating overtly bright hues either. Case in point, the snap of the orange flower wherein, the camera has not only created a stunning bokeh effect around the subject, but the petals are flush with details too.
The handset’s night mode, on the other hand, does its job a little too well. I say this because the lowlight photos appear overtly brightened, which is evident if you look at the leaves of the trees, or the sky in the sample shot attached above. Be that as it may, the 10R keeps noise at bay and the elements in the frame offer ample sharpness too, which is great. The same goes for the handset’s selfie camera, which can net good-looking selfies with a ton of details around the subject’s face. That said, the images appear slightly beautified, which might not sit well with some buyers.
The OnePlus 10R starts at Rs 36,999, however, the 150W variant will set interested buyers back by Rs 42,999. It goes without saying that the smartphone has a lot in common with the Realme GT Neo 3, which costs the same. That’s not a bad thing per se, especially when you consider that the GT Neo 3 is a stellar option in the Rs 40K segment. On the other hand, the device is plagued by the same issues that were a thorn in the GT Neo 3’s side as well. For instance, the Dimensity 8100 SoC, while good, isn’t as adept at gaming as its Qualcomm counterparts.
Furthermore, the handset’s cameras could do with some tweaks. And, it’s pivotal that the company addresses the Netflix issue too, seeing how the utility is among the most used streaming services in the world. Be that as it may, the OnePlus 10R is a capable daily driver that can run a myriad of apps simultaneously without breaking a sweat. The handset’s software experience is void of any bloatware too and the device charges stupendously fast as well.
Understandably, Realme’s offering checks most of the same boxes too so, between the OnePlus 10R and the GT Neo 3, which device should you buy? Well, if you want a phone with a premium albeit outlandish design and capable cameras, I’d reckon your money will be better spent on the Realme GT Neo 3. On the flip side, if you want a bloat-free interface that offers oodles of customisation features, then you should probably side with the OnePlus 10R. All said and done, the 10R is a good addition to the flagship killer space and the device should only get better as and when software updates and patches roll out.
Editor’s rating: 3.5 / 5
- Ergonomic design
- Capable performer
- Charges rapidly
- Bloat-free UI
- Cameras are not the best
- Gaming performance could’ve been better